Dive Briefing

Please note that diving in the Galapagos is advanced due to strong currents, varying visibility and cold water. Temperatures range from low 60’s to upper 70’s in different areas of the itinerary and seasons. Depths can be 20-30 meters or 65-100 feet. Divers must be comfortable in these conditions, as well as have very good buoyancy and be able to do negative (sometimes rapid) back-roll entries/ descents from small boats. Recommended requirements include 50-100 open water dives, experience in currents, ability to remove gear in water and ability to get into small boats in choppy seas. Nitrox certification prior to the cruise is highly recommended. Recent dive experience required. PADI and DAN both recommend a refresher course for divers who have been out of the water for 6 months or longer.

All diving off Galapagos Sky is NON-DECOMPRESSION diving, no exceptions.

How We Dive

All diving is done off of a panga (also known as an inflatable or tender). Divers will gear up on the dive deck of Galápagos Sky. Fins will be placed in the panga by the crew. Divers will walk to the gangway and with assistance from the crew, lower themselves into the panga. Cameras will be handed down to the panga by the crew. Once seated on the panga, divers will be handed their fins to don. At the dive site, the Dive Guide will ask for a final self and buddy check, then give the signal to Dive. All divers must simultaneously do a backroll entry. Cameras will be handed to divers by the panga driver. At certain dive sites, divers will be asked to do a negative entry (no air in BCD) to ensure a quicker decent in stronger currents.

Dive Briefings will be given on board prior to every dive. Divers are expected to follow and stay with the Dive Guide, follow signals and instructions. Divers who must end their dive prior to the planned dive time, must be able to do a proper ascent with their dive buddy, complete a safety stop and signal the panga driver once safely buoyant at the surface. Dives are typically 50 minutes each. Most dives are between 60ft/18m and 100ft/30m.

Once the panga approaches a diver and the panga driver gives the OK, divers must hand up cameras, remove and hand up weight belts. Divers must remove their inflated BCD in the water, present the tank side to the panga driver who will lift the gear on board. Divers will then hand up fins and climb the ladder back onto the panga.

8:1 With a full boat of 16 guests, divers will be placed in two groups of 8. Each group of 8 divers will have 1 Galapagos National Park certified Dive Guide.

Night dives are optional and conducted weather and conditions permitting on Day 3 at Wolf. Divers must be experienced at night diving, carry a primary and a backup light/torch (as recommended by all certification agencies) and also have a tank light. Underwater lights/torches are not available for rent or loan.

At this time, Solo Diving, Side Mount Diving, diving with Doubles or Rebreathers is not permitted. Stage or pony bottles are not available for rent.

Nitrox/Enriched Air Certification by a recognized certification/training agency is required to dive with Nitrox on board Galapagos Sky. Without proof of Nitrox certification, divers will be provided with air fills. Without Nitrox certification, all dives cannot be completed on Day 3, 4, & 5 at Wolf & Darwin due to recreational Non-Decompression Limits. Nitrox classes are not offered on board. Our membrane system generally produces 32%. Certified Nitrox divers must analyze and log Nitrox mixes and MOD’s prior to each dive. Nitrox Analyzers are provided on board. 

Nitrox Certification Cards must be presented to Dive Guides at check-in on board.

Divers without Nitrox Certification will be required to hire a Private Dive Guide.

All activities in Galapagos are regulated by the Galapagos National Park. Our permit does not allow for snorkeling at most of our dive sites. Man of our dive sites are in areas where surface conditions are unsafe for snorkeling. There is no discount for non-divers.


Certification cards must be shown to Dive Guides when checking in at the beginning of the cruise. Highest level of training and Enriched Air Nitrox card please. 

As the dive itinerary does not offer dives under 40ft/12m, divers must be at least 15 years old with proper training and experience.


Divers must use a dive computer or be able to show dive planning with a table to the Dive Guide to keep track of their non-decompression time. Rental dive computers are very limited to it is strongly suggested that each diver bring their own dive computer with a back-up dive computer, ideally with the same algorithm. If your dive computer is violated you will not be allowed to dive until the computer has cleared.

If a computer is broken/out of battery/screen goes blank/flooded, if the diver that does not have a back-up computer, the diver must not dive for a minimum 12-hour surface interval for a single no-decompression dive or a minimum 24-hour interval for multiple dives or multiple days of diving before resuming dives with a “fresh” computer. 

Standard tanks are Aluminum 80 Cubic Foot/12 Liter tanks with an INT/Yoke valve. Each tank has a removable insert to make the tank DIN first stage compatible. A limited number of Aluminum 100 Cubic Foot/15 Liter (DIN/INT compatible) tanks are available for an additional weekly rental fee of $60 USD that is paid directly on board. Steel tanks are not available. Please note on the Application the desire to rent 100 cu ft/15 ltr tanks when making rental requests prior to the cruise.

Galápagos Sky does not provide reef hooks to divers. If a diver is experienced and comfortable with reef hook use, they may bring their own along with a small cutting tool to cut themselves free if needed. Divers who are not highly experienced with reef hook use should not attempt learning in the Galapagos due to strong currents. All divers must bring their own gloves to hold on to rocks in current.

The following pieces of surface safety devices are required for each diver entering the water: Safety Sausage/SMB/Surface Marker, Dive Alert or similar audible surface signaling device, Nautilus Lifeline electronic surface tracking device. If you have your own Nautilus Lifeline, the MMSI number is 735057585.


These items are available for loan to divers while on board. 

Weights and weight belts are available and included in your cruise rate. Most lead weight pieces on board are 4 to 5 pounds. Small 1 to 2 pound or trim weights are limited.  Soft weights are not available.